11-year-old rape survivor gives birth as Paraguay upholds draconian anti-abortion law

Reports that an 11-year-old girl who became pregnant after she was repeatedly raped, allegedly by her step father, gave birth today are a tragic reminder of the urgent need for Paraguay to repeal its draconian anti-abortion law, said Amnesty International.

“We are very pleased to hear that both ‘Mainumby’ and the newborn are in good health but she is lucky to be alive. Only time will tell the true extent of the physical and psychological consequences of her tragic ordeal,” said Erika Guevara, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“The fact that ‘Mainumby’ did not die does not excuse the human rights violations she suffered at the hands of the Paraguayan authorities, who decided to gamble with her health, life and integrity despite overwhelming evidence that this pregnancy was extremely risky and despite the fact that she was a rape-victim and a child.”

“This young girl’s tragic story illustrates what is wrong with Paraguay’s human rights when it comes to poor, marginalized women and girls. From the fact that her mother’s complaints went unheard for weeks, to the denial of potentially life-saving treatment. It is terrifying that her story will remain all too common unless Paraguay does more to protect victims of sexual violence, decriminalize abortion and guarantee the availability of modern contraceptives and access to information about sexual and reproductive rights.”

“This girl has already suffered enough from the sexual abuse and a pregnancy resulting from rape. The authorities in Paraguay must now ensure she has access to all the health care services she needs, that she can continue her education, and that her immediate family receives the psychological, economic and social support needed in accordance with their wishes.”